Let's start the article with a bike - a description of a bike that I traveled in Latin America. And then I will tell you how the idea of this bike tour came about, why the bike is cooler than public transport and how the first days of the trip went.
This bike can be safely called Frankenstein, because, like the monster from Mary Shelley's novel, it was created mostly from used parts belonging to old bicycles. Fresh ingredients are also present - about 50% of them. I collected it myself, without haste, for several months, and it turned out to be such a beast, in which I plan to travel all over Latin America.
How did the idea of cycling through Latin America come about?
From October 2013 to May 2014, I traveled in Mexico and after six months of wandering I returned home, not to settle down, but to go on a new journey - on a bicycle across Scandinavia. I drove to Oslo and back. For the first time in my life, I mastered almost 3 and a half thousand kilometers, and this path not only made me fall in love with cycling - it exalted this particular style above all others, be it hitchhiking or backpacking. While on a Scandinavian bike tour, I got the idea to return to Mexico to travel the country along and reproach, this time on a bike. I finally approved my decision, collected a new bike, bought a ticket and now I am in Cancun, where my journey begins. I don't have any clear route, so, preliminary sketches for the next few days, but the plans are grandiose and they apply not only to Mexico, but to the whole of Latin America. I will act by my favorite method: go wherever they look and form a route along the way, in other words, live for today.
I often ask, why did I go on a trip at all? It's very simple: I do this not because I am pursuing some noble goal, such as saving elephants, but simply because I cannot see my life without travel. Consider it like a drug to me. Travel transforms. I am learning, changing physically and even mentally. I am passionate about this process, and therefore I am blogging so that you can track the changes that are happening to me, as well as share useful information received during the journey. And if I had such an opportunity, then I will do everything to prolong my favorite pastime as long as possible.
An employee of the company at the airport asked to check it in oversized baggage - it's free. You should have seen what trunks are handed over there by passengers: furniture, bags, hefty boxes. The impression was that I could easily hand over my bike without even disassembling it, and no one would have said a word. In such cases, it is better to buy a special bicycle cover that allows you to transport it folded.
Out of habit, we settled in the Cancun hostel, the most budgetary in this city.
Having collected the bike, I prepared for the road, trained, got used to the climate and enjoyed the sea and the sun.
Bus vs bike
I rode several times from my hostel to Dolphin Beach. Moving at a standard pace, without haste, he covered about 20 km in 50 minutes. Now think about it: a bus in Mexico travels the same distance in an average of 30 minutes, with traffic jams - within an hour. In addition, in order to get on public transport, you first need to walk to the stop and wait for it, while the bike will immediately take you straight from the door of the hostel. It turns out that my transport is more profitable in terms of time. The fare costs 9.5 pesos. Round trip - 19 pesos. For a year of using public transport, the amount increases to 6935 pesos. The simple arithmetic of life - using a bicycle, you not only go in for sports, but also save money.
Cancun - Valladolid
On November 12 at 8 am I set out on my two-wheeled vehicle along Route 180 towards the city of Valladolid and say goodbye to the city by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, with its vulgar tourists in short shorts. I'm still here, but I miss you already.
Cancun, with its endless intersections and traffic lights, stretched out for an hour. Leaving the city, I drove through sleeping areas, very different from the resort area, small houses, and people leisurely going to work, schoolgirls in short skirts, rickshaws - they all began the song of the new day in unison. Small towns followed me with their eyes, children ran after me, adults waved their hand. Once you drive away from the tourist area, and you find yourself in the open space of Mexico, where your bicycle is a spaceship plowing through the open spaces.
Free water - at OXXO gas stations, cold, straight from the cooler. It is strictly forbidden to drink a tap from the tap, as in Scandinavia, here: you can not only get poisoned, but also pick up a dangerous infection. Here they like to frighten with horror stories, they say, one girl drank water from the tap and fell ill with salmonella. Such experiments are especially contraindicated for me without medical insurance =) Yes, I do not have insurance, but I will tell you more about this some other time. The asphalt is almost perfect, and the drivers delicately go around, honking and waving their hands from the window in greeting. The daytime sun heats up what is urine, forcing every now and then to stop in the shade, take a breath and drink water. I started early in the morning, drove for 8 hours, and by sunset I was near the city of Valladolid. Once I already happened to be here, so I did not plan to enter the city, but at the 150th kilometer my fatigue melted the dots above the i's.
I check into the first hostel I come across, Casa La Candelaria, for 140 pesos, they give me bed linen and show me a bed, but I have only one thing in mind - I'd rather take a shower. The new brooks saddle is like unworn fresh boots, so the fifth point after such a marathon feels uncomfortable, I was burned, and in general I feel general fatigue. The ancient city of Ekbalam has stood nearby for thousands of years and will not disappear anywhere until tomorrow. If I was brought back to the colonial Valladolid by a difficult one, I stood, overcoming fatigue, to go to the promenade, and so I leave the walls of the hostel, and the street yellow light of the lanterns envelops me for an hour and carries me along the streets. I cannot resist the charm of this town. Beer takes on a special aura of importance after a grueling journey, you just have no idea how cool it is to drink a can at the end of the day. My hostel is twice as expensive as in Cancan, and even though now I only have a bed and not a room, I don't need more, but it is cozy, clean, and the atmosphere is much friendlier. It was a grueling day. I'm tired, I'm going ... to sleep.